ONLY presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella can speak on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar made clear yesterday.
Andanar appealed to Cabinet secretaries to follow the agreement reached on Day One on July 1 that it is only Secretary Abella who is the President’s official talking head.
Andanar made the clarification in the wake of conflicting statements of government officials on several national issues.
He said the media’s clarificatory questions on Duterte’s statements should be addressed to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
The PCO, then, “shall decide who among the secretaries or members of the Cabinet can comprehensively explain a presidential pronouncement that needs clarification,” Andanar said.
He said Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go have agreed to the proposed procedure.
This is to avoid confusion,” Andanar stressed.
Andanar and the administration’s communications team have been under fire recently over conflicting statements that have caused confusion on several important issues.
Andanar said he has already brought the issue to President Duterte.
“So I brought up the issue to the President yesterday in the meeting and I told the President that, ‘Mr. President, we have been heavily criticized for the past week and this person has been the flavor of the week’,” he said.